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Optimizing VSB Shot Count For Curvilinear Masks


The increased photomask write time using a variable-shape e-beam (VSB) writer has been a barrier to the adoption of inverse lithography technology (ILT) beyond the limited usage for hot spots. The second installment of this video blog looked at the challenge in depth. In this five-minute panel video with industry luminaries, Ezequiel Russell describes the collaborative study between his company... » read more

What About Mask Rule Checking For Curvilinear Photomasks?


The entire photomask design chain needs to be considered in the adoption of curvilinear photomasks. A broad look at the ecosystem impact was addressed in a previous video but a more in-depth look at the design chain of photomasks raises the next question – will MRC be harder and take more time? Aki Fujimura of D2S opens the nine-minute panel video with industry luminaries by providing a conce... » read more

Developing A New Curvilinear Data Format


The data size generated by curvilinear masks could impact turnaround time (TAT) for photomask production and hence the adoption of curvilinear masks. In a previous blog on curvilinear masks, our panel of luminaries discuss some possible solutions in a video discussion. In this seventh video, the panel looks at some ideas to define a new curvilinear data format to reduce file sizes. Aki Fujimura... » read more

How Will The Adoption Of Curvilinear Masks Affect Turnaround Time?


Turnaround time (TAT) for photomask makers has historically increased at smaller and smaller process nodes, as reported in the eBeam Initiative Mask Makers surveys, so it’s important to look at the impact of curvilinear masks on TAT. In this sixth installment of our blog series on curvilinear masks, Aki Fujimura of D2S explores this question with luminaries in the industry during a video pane... » read more

Demand, Lead Times Soar For 300mm Equipment


A surge in demand for various chips is causing select shortages and extended lead times for many types of 300mm semiconductor equipment, photomask tools, wafers, and other products. For the last several years, 200mm equipment has been in short supply in the market, but issues are now cropping up throughout the 300mm supply chain, as well. Traditionally, lead times have been three to six mont... » read more

The Quest For Curvilinear Photomasks


The semiconductor industry is making noticeable progress on the development of advanced curvilinear photomasks, a technology that has broad implications for chip designs at the most advanced nodes and the ability to manufacture those chips faster and cheaper. The question now is when will this technology move beyond its niche-oriented status and ramp up into high-volume manufacturing. For ye... » read more

How Do Multi-Beam Mask Writers Enable Curvilinear Shapes On Photomasks?


Multi-beam mask writing was identified as one of the ways to eliminate hurdles to manufacturing curvilinear mask shapes in the last installment of this blog. Our blog series continues with an educational video explanation of why and how multi-beam writers reduce write time for curvilinear mask shapes that took place during an eBeam Initiative panel discussion with industry experts during the 20... » read more

AI In Inspection, Metrology, And Test


AI/ML is creeping into multiple processes within the fab and packaging houses, although not necessarily for the purpose it was originally intended. The chip industry is just beginning to learn where AI makes sense and where it doesn't. In general, AI works best as a tool in the hands of someone with deep domain expertise. AI can do certain things well, particularly when it comes to pattern m... » read more

EUV Challenges And Unknowns At 3nm and Below


The chip industry is preparing for the next phase of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography at 3nm and beyond, but the challenges and unknowns continue to pile up. In R&D, vendors are working on an assortment of new EUV technologies, such as scanners, resists, and masks. These will be necessary to reach future process nodes, but they are more complex and expensive than the current EUV pro... » read more

Mask/Lithography Issues For Mature Nodes


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask issues with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. ... » read more

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